You say you’re not impressed that the “magic” iPad went on sale today because you want a “real” OS powering your slate device. We’ve got your back as we’re your source for information about all things tablet. As interesting as the iPad is, no matter what Apple (s aapl) wants us to think it’s by no means the first tablet. I’ve been using them for almost a decade, matter of fact. What better way to share the tablet love than to give you 5 alternatives to the iPad. Note that I am currently using or have used every slate on this list, so you know I’m serious about it.
1. Viliv S5. We’ll start out with the smallest slate on the list. The 5-inch S5 with its near pocketable form can be just the ticket for something to take along when space is a concern. It runs full Windows and the screen resolution is as high as most netbooks (1024×600) even though the screen is so small. It’s a real computer too, not a watered-down gadget by any means. The touchscreen works wonderfully, and it can even handle inking in a pinch if you’re careful where you put your hand.
2. Viliv X70. Now we move up in size a little to the 7-inch slate. The X70 has a touchscreen that is the same resolution as the smaller S5, so things are easier to see. Surfing the web on the X70 is a joy, with the full web available due to the Windows platform. Like every other slate on this list, the X70 does indeed do Flash. It will fit in most any gear bag, and is easy to use in the hands as a slate should be.
3. Viliv S7. Now we move into territory the iPad can only dream about, as the S7 is a full convertible. You don’t put the top down on this baby, but you can lift the slate up to expose a full QWERTY keyboard. No onscreen keyboard to frustrate you — you’re too much of a power user. The S7 has the same 7-inch screen as the X70, but adds that keyboard and a full trackpad for full power use. Don’t fret, it can still function as a full slate when put in that configuration. Amazingly, the Viliv folks added the keyboard to the 7-inch slate in a package that is thinner and lighter than the X70.
4. Viliv S10 Blade. If you’re the type for whom a namby-pamby little screen just won’t do, the S10 steps up the game with its 10-inch high resolution screen. That big (1366×768) display adds full 3-point multitouch to the mix, turning it into a full featured tablet. Swivel the screen around and you expose a keyboard that supports full touch typing; you’ll be off to the races getting stuff done. To top things off, the S10 (like the S7 and X70) has a webcam, unlike that iPad thing. You’ll be video calling like crazy, getting things done no matter where you might be. Or maybe you’ll be on Chatroulette, it’s your call.
5. ThinkPad x200t. This is the cream of the tablet crop, the device for those who need everything. The x200t is a convertible notebook with a 12-inch multitouch screen, that also has full inking support to tap into the full Tablet PC technology in Windows. Need to get data into your computer? Consider the many options on the x200t: handwriting, typing on a real keyboard, typing on a virtual keyboard (slate mode) or simply by speaking the text. No compromises, no excuses. Just getting work done, no matter what. The way you want to do it.